How to Free Yourself From The Opinions of Others

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People talk. There's chatter at work, at home, with friends, with significant others, during an errand run, and on social media. Sometimes the conversation includes you and sometimes it doesn't. It's easy to dissect and twist words and emotion so it can sound offensive. By turning a harmless reply into a hurtful insult, these people stay offended and damage relationships with loved ones.

Sadly, taking things personally is a low self-esteem trait. These people are highly sensitive to opposing and offensive opinions said in public, in private, and at random. Include social media and broadcast/print media in the mix and the negative reaction heightens exponentially. These people notice the smallest details, analyze every word written and spoken, and worries loved ones with questions asking what they did wrong. Body language is a culprit too. A loved one walking past without speaking or pointing at you are common misconceptions. How does a person free himself or herself from the vicious cycle?

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Where is this negative emotion coming from? Naturally, a person reacts without acquiring accurate information. Worse, the person believes what they want to hear and ignore the truth. Consequently, these people either harbor the emotion deep down or lash out with contention. Feeding into the negative emotion causes more harm than good. Instead of judging and jumping to conclusions, step away from the ugly situation and kindly ask the parties involved about the conversation. Cooler heads prevail. A concrete answer is superior to the overblown drama playing out in your mind.

It's Not About You

This phrase usually works when a person is the center of attention, absorbing time and energy from everyone else's daily life so the focus remains on him or her. Conversely, not every conversation is a personal attack. The reaction could stem from triggers in the other person's life that hurt deep. The other person may have a bad day and they lashed out to release anger. Likewise, it could be personal issues, a horrible personality, a misunderstanding, shyness, or a distraction. Brush off hurtful comments because it's not your fault. Practice self-forgiveness.

Focus on the Opinions You Treasure Most

If you must care about a person's opinion, let it come from loved ones. Do not give strangers, co-workers, acquaintances, neighbors, and social media users the same value as people close to you. Our loved ones will remain a part of our lives far beyond most of those people listed. Treat feedback as constructive criticism and find positivity in all opinions.

Raise Your Self-Esteem

Confidence is a self-esteem booster, and when a person exudes confidence, nothing, nobody, and no one else matters. Outsiders aren't going to help you succeed, yet confidence goes a long way toward success. One way to raise confidence is facing any triggers. Triggers represent insecurity, and that comes from needing others' approval or perfectionism. The insecurity turns a harmless comment into a personal attack. A second way is ending toxic relationships. Don't give other opinions any power over your life.

You are not responsible for another person's behavior. It is not your fault. You are responsible for your response to their behavior. A strong relationship is repairable through open, honest communication. For the rest, understand that pleasing everyone is impossible and let it go. Keep working on it. Your health and self-esteem will thank you.

Tonya Jones Reynolds
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